This year’s fastest-rising activewear brands include smaller digital upstarts and medium-sized brands that are having a moment.
Alo Yoga and Outdoor Voices, direct-to-consumer brands catering specifically to female consumers, saw year-over-year site traffic rise by 91% and 57%, respectively, according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. These brands prioritize site merchandising and benefit from earned media coverage. For example, nearly a quarter of organic results for “outdoor voices leggings” is content from media publications, including The New Yorker, Refinery29 and others. Other activewear brands reaped the benefits of leveraging collaborations with streetwear and fashion brands. Fila’s frequent apparel and sneaker collaborations with brands such as Fendi, Palace and Weekday have brought the brand into the spotlight and contributed to an 82% increase in site traffic year over year. Champion enjoyed a 36% increase in site traffic after collaborating with Supreme on a line of sweatshirts, and Birkenstock has generated momentum through footwear partnerships with Valentino and Rick Owens.
BIirkenstock introduces these collaborations through its 1774 product line. Paying tribute to the year the brand was founded, 1774 showcases “new interpretations of iconic Birkenstock designs” and is visible in the brand’s primary navigation. These exclusive products include limited-edition boots and sandals priced over $500, and the brand has created a premium browsing experience for the 1774 product line that is completely distinct from the rest of the Birkenstock site. Leveraging autoplay video, custom side-panel product pages and a dedicated 1774 subhandle on Instagram, Birkenstock exemplifies how activewear brands, regardless of product category or brand age, are responding to customer expectations of newness and exclusivity.